Public perceptions: Alcohol and cancer

Little data exists at the national level related to public perceptions about alcohol and cancer

Inside this alcohol policy pack

How does the public perceive this issue?

In 2017, 56 per cent of Canadians involved in a public survey indicated alcohol use is completely socially acceptable (in comparison to other substances such as tobacco and cannabis).1

In 2016, the Canadian Cancer Society conducted a public opinion survey related to alcohol and cancer risk in Ontario and Québec:2

  • In Ontario and Québec, only 28 and 30 per cent of the public, respectively, know that consuming alcohol can increase the risk of developing cancer.
  • Two-thirds of Ontarians and Quebecers said they would reduce their consumption of alcohol if they learned that drinking alcohol increases their risk of cancer.

1- Government of Canada (2017). Canadian cannabis survey 2017 – Summary. Retrieved from:
2- Canadian Cancer Society (2015). Drinking Habits and Perceived Impact of Alcohol Consumption.